Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 59

days' leisure. On one of these days, I was,
to my surprise, sent for by a great man I knew only by name, a Sir
William Wyndham, and I waited upon him. He had heard by some means or
other of my swimming from Chelsea to Blackfriars, and of my teaching
Wygate and another young man to swim in a few hours. He had two sons,
about to set out on their travels; he wish'd to have them first taught
swimming, and proposed to gratify me handsomely if I would teach them.
They were not yet come to town, and my stay was uncertain, so I could
not undertake it; but, from this incident, I thought it likely that,
if I were to remain in England and open a swimming-school, I might get
a good deal of money; and it struck me so strongly, that, had the
overture been sooner made me, probably I should not so soon have
returned to America. After many years, you and I had something of more
importance to do with one of these sons of Sir William Wyndham,
become Earl of Egremont, which I shall mention in its place.

Thus I spent about eighteen months in London; most part of the time I
work'd hard at my business, and spent but little upon myself except in
seeing plays and in books. My friend Ralph had kept me poor; he owed
me about twenty-seven pounds, which I was now never likely to receive;
a great sum out of my small earnings! I lov'd him, notwithstanding,
for he had many amiable qualities. I had by no means improv'd my
fortune; but I had picked up some very ingenious acquaintance, whose
conversation was of great advantage to me; and I had read



We sail'd from Gravesend on the 23rd of July, 1726. For the incidents
of the voyage, I refer you to my Journal, where you will find them all
minutely related. Perhaps the most important part of that journal is
the _plan_[50] to be found in it, which I formed at sea, for
regulating my future conduct in life. It is the more remarkable, as
being formed when I was so young, and yet being pretty faithfully
adhered to quite thro' to old age.

[50] "Not found in the manuscript journal, which was left
among Franklin's papers."--Bigelow.

We landed in Philadelphia on the 11th of October, where I found sundry
alterations. Keith was no longer governor, being superseded by Major
Gordon. I met him walking the streets as a common

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 8
Observations concerning the increase of mankind, peopling of countries, &c 383 .
Page 9
Franklin, or to contain sentiments nearly allied to his own 411 On the price of corn, and management of the poor 418 On luxury, idleness, and industry 424 On smuggling, and its various species 430 Observations on war 435 Notes copied from Dr.
Page 51
Being in Maryland, riding with Colonel Tasker, and some other gentlemen, to his country seat, where I and my son were entertained by that amiable and worthy man with great hospitality and kindness, we saw, in the vale below us, a small whirlwind beginning in the road, and shewing itself by the dust it raised and contained.
Page 119
And the following are the results.
Page 123
Let those two bodies be attached, one of them to one end of a thread a yard long, the other to the other end.
Page 143
Such there are; but if he happens to be otherwise, and is only skilful, careful, watchful and active in the conduct of his ship, excuse the rest, for these are the essentials.
Page 171
During the great heats of summer there is no danger in bathing, however warm we may be, in rivers which have been thoroughly warmed by the sun.
Page 179
I have seen an instance of common flies preserved in a manner somewhat similar.
Page 192
The equal temper too, and warmth of the air of the room, is thought to be particularly advantageous in some distempers; for it was observed in the winters of 1730 and 1736, when the small-pox spread in Pensylvania, that very few children of the Germans died of that distemper in proportion to those of the English; which was ascribed, by some, to the warmth and equal temper of air in their stove-rooms, which made the disease as favourable as it commonly is in the West Indies.
Page 199
When you make your first fire in it, perhaps if the chimney be thoroughly cold, it may not draw, the work too being all cold and damp.
Page 212
And there are some, I know, so bigotted to the fancy of a large noble opening, that rather than change it, they would submit to have damaged furniture, sore eyes, and skins almost smoked to bacon.
Page 224
[59] ESQ.
Page 232
In this course it must be heated by the burning coals through which it passed, and rise more forcibly in the longer tube, in proportion to its degree of heat or rarefaction, and length of that tube.
Page 257
Being charmed with the sweetness of its tones, and the music he produced from it, I wished only to see the glasses disposed in a more convenient form, and brought together in a narrower compass, so as to admit of a greater number of tones, and all within reach of hand to a person sitting before the instrument, which I accomplished, after various intermediate trials, and less commodious forms, both of glasses and construction, in the following manner.
Page 290
Speeches and scenes in our best tragedies and comedies (avoiding every thing, that could injure the morals of youth) might likewise be got by rote, and the boys exercised in delivering or acting them: great care being taken to form their manner after the truest models.
Page 321
Page 322
" "How so?" "When my daughter appeared with it at meeting, it was so much admired, that all the girls resolved to get such caps from Philadelphia; and my wife and I computed, that the whole could not have cost less than a hundred pounds.
Page 355
Page 384
_Saint_ Bride's church, stroke of lightning on, i.
Page 395